Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Question About the Future of Talk Radio

A reader and contributor here at the WIZARD, fkap posted a question this morning about TALK RADIO on the Internet and I thought I would enlarge my answer and post it here for all to read. When the RIAA and it's royalty collection arm, SOUND EXCHANGE, kills 99% of Internet Radio later this week, Talk Radio will be an indirect casualty. Here's what's happening:

vigilante asked

I'm curious, Wizard: just how much public affairs (news & Opinion) can one find on Internet Radio? Where can you find it? How much bandwidth does it suck up?

And, is it free?

I replied

vigilante, There is a lot of talk and political radio and that arena of Internet Broadcasting is the fastest growing segment.

Here's the good news: In theory talk radio is unaffected by the recent Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) rulings PROVIDED they carefully avoid the use of any music what-so-ever (not even the bumper music leading in and out of segments!!!!)

Just one note of music, one time, and they fall into the nightmare of the RIAA royalty battle we now face.

But even talk radio will be dealt a severe blow next Saturday. Although carefully programmed talk and religious radio (remember they couldn't use any music) can be broadcast for only the cost of bandwidth and computer server support,
the network that hosts several hundred of the political, religious and talk stations will go into bankruptcy under the weight of a ten million dollar retroactive bill from SOUND EXCHANGE.

A huge chunk of the real independent talk radio will die, leaving mainly the big network talk you already hear on AM/FM.

In other words Rush Limbaugh will survive but the dozens of independent "vigilante's" will go silent because the infrastructure that allowed them to broadcast for a few hundred dollars a year will be gone.

Be sure to go to You can get the full background on the crisis and learn how you can help. The only solution today is to put massive pressure on Congress.

Here is a listing of 320 talk stations you can listen to for free (today and for another 6 sixs). Some are weird (UFO's etc) some are religious and some a excellent liberal/progressive outlets.

You can start your own station on LIVE365. The first week is free (HA!!) and then the whole thing will likely be dead...

It's not really that funny, but the irony is thick......

Remember these three key facts:

  • AM and FM Radio PAYS NO ROYALTIES AT ALL TO THE RIAA or to the LABELS or to the ARTISTS. Satellite Radio does pay royalties, but they pay a whole lot less.
  • THE RIAA IS ONLY DEMANDING THE GIGANTIC INCREASE IN ROYALTIES FROM INTERNET RADIO!! They are not requesting a penny from AM and FM radio. THE ENTIRE GOAL OF THE RIAA IS TO KILL THE INDEPENDENT BROADCASTER who play independent artists and new, emerging talent.
  • The RIAA clearly isn't interested in seeing artists get paid. If they were they wouldn't kill the one medium paying them handsomely already.




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